Case Study — Mirror
Ecommerce Site & Brand Development
Role: UX/UI, Research
Timeline: 4 weeks
Tools: Figma, Miro, Illustrator
Mirror is a hypothetical apparel company producing clothing for kids and adults. Part of their company mission is to provide a wide range of inclusive sizing for customers. As an emerging brand, they are looking to establish an online presence for the first time.
- Design a responsive e-commerce website that makes their clothing accessible and inclusive to everyone.
- Design a branding message for the company that is creative and inviting enough to attract a diverse range of people and styles.
- Clear target audience with defined customer social/ethical standards and motivators.
- A more efficacious way for customers to find their size, partnered with an incentivized return policy which increases online sales and builds customer loyalty.
Research Discovery Phase
In order to begin understanding our customer persona, I researched other competitors in the market, as well as interviewed recruited participants who fit the demographics defined by competitive research.
(Competitive analysis data based on a study conducted by Baymard Institute & public investor reports and presentations. 2021)
Participant Demographics & Interview Analysis
Gender: 3 Female, 2 Male.
Marital Status: 3 Married, 2 Single.
Occupations: Creative & Tech Industries.
Annual Income 35–110k.
Based on the primary and secondary research, an established customer persona was defined.
DEFINING THE PROBLEM
Based on user research interviews, 100% of participants expressed the most important factors that contribute to a pleasant online shopping experience are:
1. Finding Their Size.
How might we help customers feel confident in their size selection in order to gain customer loyalty, and reduce returns and exchanges?
“I need to be able to filter by body data and input my own so that I can be confident in how well the item will fit me.”
“I need photos of models or real people I can identify with in the products so that I can determine if that product will also look good on me.”
“I want to know I’m ordering the correct size when placing my order as a new customer.”
2. Ease of Returns.
How might we reassure customers on shipping/return policies in order to increase buyer confidence and online sales revenue?
“A good and reliable shipping/return policy often makes the difference between me making a purchase or not.”
“As a busy person, I need to be confident my items can be returned with zero hassle & free shipping if the item doesn’t work for me when I receive it.”
While brainstorming solutions, I knew the answers had to solve both key defining problems: sizing & return policy.
In research interviews, participants would compare their own measurements and body descriptions with previous customers in the reviews section.
Some brands have the option to ‘Find your size,’ where you input a few generic stats in order for it to compute the ‘Best fit for you’ based on prior customer input. However, these quizzes fell short for participants due to a lack of inclusivity in illustration examples, input measurements feeling irrelevant, and a lack of confidence in the final size suggestion.
Based on participants' behaviors wanting to compare their own measurements to real people, the ‘Find my size’ quiz felt like an opportunity for improvement and implementation into the Mirror website.
70% of interviewed participants have a purchasing habit of buying an item in two sizes, trying it on at home, and returning the item that didn’t fit. However, they also mention the fear of not being able to return all of their items successfully.
During continued market research of return policies, I discovered a cosmetic company that allows you to select two shades of foundation and only be charged for the price of one. When the customer receives both foundations, they have 30 days to decide which shade they would like to keep and mail back the other bottle with a prepaid shipping label. If the customer does not return one of the items before the 30-day mark, only then will they be charged for both items. The bottles are then recycled, refilled, and sold to future customers.
This ‘Buy two, pay for one’ policy appears to be an effective solution to very common consumer behavior. It gives the customer confidence in making returns, as well as the comfort of trying the items on at home. Additionally, this also provides the company with a more accurate inventory projection count.
Based on the solutions brainstormed for both key problems, designing the ‘Find my size’ quiz presented a natural opportunity for me to combine both solutions into the final quiz result page. Not only should customers be guided through finding their size, but also given a recommendation of two sizes. This is then partnered with the ‘Buy two, pay for one. Try at home’ policy.
Illustrated design progression.
USER TESTING — PROTOTYPE
- Test Objective — We want to design a product item page that allows customers to find their size in a way that feels empathetic and inclusive. This will allow us to build stronger customer loyalty and reduce size-related returns.
- Test Goals — A.) The user is able to successfully navigate the product item page and find the information they need to determine the best size for them. B.) Customers feel accurately represented in fit information & quiz answers provided. C.) After completing the quiz, the user feels they have given enough/accurate information in order to trust the results.
- Test Methodology — Due to the small scope of this project, testing will be conducted remotely via moderated tests with 5 participants.
- Participants will be within the identified user persona requirements of Ages 25–40, women, and have experience shopping for clothing online.
- Tasks — 1.) The participant will be asked to find their size on a specific product item page. 2.) The participant will be asked to complete the ‘Find my Size’ quiz (if not already completed in Task 1) and share out loud their thought process and experience while entering their information.
USER TESTING — KEY FINDINGS
Goal A– 100% of participants were successful in finding their size.
Goal B– 100% of participants felt represented in the size guide options.
“It was great because it was so in-depth, and it really did take into account the specificity of my body”.
“I definitely could find options in each of these choices that felt true to me. It makes it just feel more inclusive because it means that they’ve considered you at all.”
“The fact that I can look at a picture and say, ‘Oh, that one looks like me.’ I think I would probably shop online more if I saw that on more websites.”
Goal C– 100% of participants trust the results of the ‘Find my size’ quiz.
On a scale of 1–5 (1 do not trust — 5 very confident)
- 60% gave a 5 rating, while 40% gave a 4 rating but said they would increase to a 5 after one successful purchase using the quiz. The only hesitation being from past bad experiences with other brands.
Homepage/Brand First Impressions.
“Young, friendly, inviting.”
- 100% of participants found the illustrations helpful.
“[The illustrations] are like a good friend helping you out.”
“I really enjoyed seeing them actually measure themselves… Seeing someone try to do it on themselves is awesome!”
“Oh, I’m not used to being asked about my size, and I’m REALLY not used to being asked about my shape. So that’s refreshing.”
- 60% of participants expressed excitement about being offered two options in conjunction with the ‘Try at Home’ return policy.
- 100% of participants were MOST excited about the fit preference question in the quiz.
“Oh yes! Bless this question!”
“I don’t like to wear anything too tight, so if I can select what I prefer, I think it would help me determine size better.”
“Ooh. I like that a lot. Fit preference is great because I don’t like tight things at all, but I know that that’s only my preference.”
- 80% of participants did not understand the term “Straight” fit, in the FIT dropdown.
- 60% of participants wished for more body size diversity in product images.
- 60% of participants didn’t know their proportions.
- 40% of participants never clicked on the ‘Find my Size’ quiz in Task 1. When guided to the quiz, they expressed how they had never seen a quiz like this before.
Based on user testing, the imagery had a high impact on customers’ positive response to the site, however, they expressed a desire for more body diversity in the product images themselves. The solution: when hovering over product images on the homepage, it now shows products in different colorways as well and different body types. This responds to the comments around wanting more body diversity in product images. Model descriptions were updated to also include the example of FIT in addition to size.
Continuing across the priority matrix, most participants didn’t know to look for a ‘Find my Size’ quiz, but, due to the positive feedback once being led through the quiz, it felt valuable to advertise this feature more. A band was added to the home screen, just below the fold, to encourage participants to use the quiz.
Finally, there was a bit of uncertainty around specific terms used on the site. Due to the confusion of the term ‘Straight Sizing,’ the default drop-down is now ‘Petite,’ as this seems to be a more recognizable term for various fit options. The term ‘Straight Sizing’ was also changed to ‘Traditional,’ which implies understanding that ‘Standardized’ sizing is becoming a dated concept. The wording on the proportions slide was changed from ‘In between’ to ‘Average’ to reassure users that if they fall somewhere between the divided sum of either OR if it doesn’t apply to them, they can move on in the quiz.
Continued User Testing Plans
Due to the inclusivity goal, there is an opportunity to expand the scope of this quiz to a broader gender-neutral audience. There is also opportunity to expand this to ask how it could be adapted for kids. The next steps would involve developing a prototype that can appeal to everyone while still maintaining the customized and personal feeling of the first prototype.